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Former UK coach Eddie Sutton dies at 84

Eddie Sutton.jpeg
Posted at 6:48 AM, May 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-24 11:49:04-04

TULSA, Okla. — Former UK men's head basketball coach and newly-inducted Basketball Hall of Famer Eddie Sutton has died.

The Sutton family released a statement late Saturday night confirming his death, saying he died of natural causes at home in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area.

“Dad and Mom treated their players like family and always shared the belief that his teachings went beyond the basketball court,” the family wrote. “He cherished the time he spent at every school and appreciated the support of their loyal fans. He believed they deserved so much credit in the success of his programs.”

Kentucky basketball legend Rex Chapman played under Coach Sutton for two seasons. He tweeted out a statement last night: "Eddie Sutton was a fascinating and complicated person. He also was an unbelievable teacher of the game of basketball. I was fortunate and lucky to have learned from him. Grateful. Hall. Of. Famer. Thanks, Coach Ed."

Current UK Coach John Calipari also posted thoughts on Sutton on Twitter.

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Already having coached Arkansas to the Final Four, Sutton succeeded Joe B. Hall at UK, going 90-40 and winning two SEC titles. While he did experience success, but the NCAA announced allegations against the program in 1988, and Sutton resigned in 1989.

Rick Pitino was hired shortly after to help rebuild the program following the sanctions.

Sutton had more success with his alma mater, Oklahoma State University. He coached the Cowboys to two Final Fours, in 1995 and 2004.

Sutton will now be posthumously-inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in August.

His final coaching stop was a short stint as the interim coach at San Francisco in 2008, where he earned his 800th win.

Coach Sutton was 84 years old.